How I Use It
My 8th grade classes used Google Earth to create tours of various landmarks throughout the United States. For example, one student created a presentation, with a voice over component, of various national parks. The student decided to present a certain number of parks based on when they were founded, starting with Yellowstone National Park first. Once he reached each park via Google Earth, he stopped to point out the various landmarks and unique details of each park to the rest of the class. Students were able to gather interesting information about each park, as if they were actually on a tour at each park. Other student created examples: Washington D.C. landmarks, Major League ballparks, Civil War battlefields, etc.
First of all, use of Google Earth is much smoother on a laptop or desktop computer. Downloading the app onto a tablet requires lots of space and time. In addition, using the Google Earth app can slow down the tablet itself, and can definitely slow down the WiFi if several students are on at the same time. With that said, Google Earth is an excellent way to demonstrate the relationship of locations in spatial terms. One of the best features is when students are able to access user-submitted photos of a certain location and landmark.